The wedding budget. Something everyone has to set, but something that everyone hates. When we were planning our wedding, I couldn’t find anything to let me know how I was doing with our wedding budget. I didn’t know what the right price for flowers was, if my dress was too expensive, alteration costs, decor.
I am going to let you in on a little secret. Weddings are expensive, and I want to lay out our wedding budget for you to see and compare to yours. Your wedding won’t look or feel like ours (and that is a good thing), but it can give you a good idea of what each section included and how much it all cost.
As you are planning your wedding, figure out what is important to both of you as a couple. Hold on to that and let your wedding reflect that.
WHAT WAS IMPORTANT TO US?
Photography and videography were very important to us. So much so that we paid for that ourselves. We took it out of the budget and set that money aside. This allowed us to use our budgeted money on everything else for our wedding.
We also wanted a venue that let people stay there as well as hold the ceremony and reception, but we didn’t want a ballroom. And we wanted it in the mountains. Our options were fairly limited, but we still found what we wanted. All of this to say that you can find things in your budget, you just have to look for them.
Our photographer was $4,000.
Our videographer was $4,300 (this included the travel expenses and rooms).
My father paid for the wedding. This is fairly customary in the South and it was something I knew he would do many many years ago.
He gave us $25,000 for our wedding budget.
Venue (The Majority of the Budget):
This is where the majority of your budget will go, so keep that in mind.
The pier that we got married on had a site fee of $1,500.
The lawn that our reception was on had a site fee of $750.
$105/pp. This might sound like a lot, but it included almost everything. Food, alcohol, tables, base chairs, linens, anything for the tables, wedding coordinator, our room for 3 nights, champagne toasts, cake cutting, and small decor items.
For the 85 adults we had, this came to $8,925. We had 15 kids, and they ranged between $35-$65/pp depending on their age. For simplicity, I am going to say that all 15 kids were $65. The total for kids is $975. You can save money by finding a venue that lets you bring alcohol in yourself, but we couldn’t find that. This number does not include the taxes and fees attached to our venue. They took a 21% gratuity which adds up to $2,079. The 7% tax is $673.
$25,000 – $1,500 – $750 – $8,925 -$975 – $2,079 – $673 = $10,098 left.
Flowers weren’t really important to me. I didn’t think it necessary to spend a ton on them because we were paying for an incredible view. But I wanted a bouquet, and we needed flowers for the table decorations, so we had to find a florist who could do it all for us. And we found her. She was fantastic.
Our floral budget was $1,900. This included all the bouquets, boutonnieres (groom, officiant, and dad’s along with the mom and grandmother corsages) and table decorations. We used the bridesmaids bouquets as the head table flowers.
$10,098 – $1,900 = $8,198 left.
The chairs that came with the venue weren’t pretty. They wouldn’t have looked right outside, so we chose to pay to upgrade the guest chairs. Because we got a package with our venue, the cost was only $2/per chair + $300 delivery fee. We ordered 100 chairs.
$8,970 – $500 (2*100 + $300) = $7,698 left.
We felt like the DJ could either make or break our wedding. I’m sure you have been to a wedding and the DJ sucked the life out of it. We didn’t want that and we didn’t want him to play any of the clique songs. And he didn’t.
We paid $2,200. This price included uplighting as well as the lighting for the dance floor.
$8,470 – $2,200 = $5,498 left.
I only really cared about what the cake looked like. Jeremy cared about what it tasted like, so we spent time doing research to make sure that our cake tasted great. And the baker we chose did just that! By the way, did you know that 2 of our layers of cake are fake? Yep! She created 2 dummy layers and we only had 1 layer of real cake. Also, those flowers are fake too.
Our cake was $550.
$6,270 – $550 = $4,948 left.
The Farmhouse Tables and Chairs:
These were a sort of last minute addition to our wedding. I knew I wanted a head table that was in the middle of the other tables and one that let people sit on both sides. The tables that the venue has couldn’t accommodate us for our requirements, so we rented these. I loved everything about the look of these tables and chairs.
The price included 4 farmhouse tables and 20 matching chairs. The total was $1,200 which included delivery.
$4,948 – $1,200 = $3,748 left.
I don’t actually have the breakdown of what we paid for all of our decor. I am sort of lumping a bunch of the other things in here that we paid for as well. I am including all of the lanterns for the tables, the bridal party gifts, the wish lanterns, all the printed paper products, the signs, the guestbook and frame, and any other things that were purchased. I’m lumping all of this stuff together because I don’t remember how much all of it was (we were engaged almost 2 years). If you want more of a breakdown of this section, let me know.
All in all, we spent around $1,648 on decor and miscellaneous items.
$3,748 – $1,648 = $2,100 left.
We had $2,100 left from our final budget. So we did it and came in under budget! YAH!
Ceremony and Reception Venue – The Ridges Resort and Marina
Photography – Jason Hales Photography
Videography – Kimberly K Cinema
Florist – Moore’s Florist
Cake – Cakelady
DJ – Lethal Rhythms
Farmhouse Tables and Chairs – Classic Party Rentals
Beaded Bridal Belt – Elegance by Kate
Bride and Bridesmaid Robes – Silk and More
Brides Earrings – Sticks and Stones NY